I could fill a book with the number of problems caused by chronic sleep loss. Weight gain, poor blood sugar control, hypertension, increased cancer risk… you name it.
But sometimes, the consequences are less obvious than that. In fact, sometimes, it doesn’t even take full-fledged insomnia to negatively affect your health. And this latest study offers a perfect example of one of the smaller consequences of a poor night’s sleep…
A lack of sleep can leave you parched
A new study from researchers at Penn State University recently discovered one reason why a bad night’s sleep leaves you feeling so run down: Dehydration.
Let me explain. Researchers analyzed data from a population of more than 20,000 Chinese and American adults.
In addition to reviewing survey results, they collected urine samples from the subjects to assess for key hydration biomarkers. And results showed that, in both populations, fewer than six hours of sleep increased the odds of inadequate hydration by as much as 60 percent.
That’s compared to subjects who routinely get eight hours of sleep per night. And the reason for this was a marked drop in vasopressin — a hormone your body uses to regulate hydration.
Vasopressin release spikes during the sleep cycle. So if your sleep is cut short on a regular basis, chances are good that your body’s simply not making as much as it needs.
The result is poor hydration… and the loss of energy, focus, and function that comes with it.
It’s worth pointing out that six hours of sleep per night isn’t even a significant deficit. In fact, most research suggests that anywhere between six and eight hours is sufficient to ward off the deadly consequences of sleep loss.
But here’s the thing: Dehydration is a big deal — especially the chronic variety.
A long list of complications, with one simple solution
For starters, chronic dehydration a major factor behind ballooning American waistlines. I explained this connection in detail back in the July 2015 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The obesity culprit no one’s talking about”). Not a subscriber? Sign up today.
But inadequate hydration can also impact your health all around — physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can drag down your cognitive performance and memory, make you depressed and anxious, induce headaches, and interfere with kidney function. A pretty serious list of complications for a problem that’s so easy to avoid.
So how much water do you actually need? No doubt you’ve heard the “eight glasses a day” advice before. But the fact is, that may or may not be enough for your individual needs.
In fact, you should be drinking half of your body weight. So to pinpoint a more accurate amount, take your total weight and divide it by 2. This will give you the number of ounces you should be drinking every single day. So a 150-pound woman would need 75 ounces of water daily, as a rule of thumb.
If you exercise, you need to drink more. For every half an hour you spend in the gym, you should add another eight ounces to your daily total. And no, caffeinated beverages don’t count. In fact, each cup of coffee you drink requires another cup of water to rehydrate your body.
Clearly, this advice also holds if you don’t get as much sleep. But realize that tackling your sleep problems should also become a priority.
It’s not as complicated as you think. In fact, I’ve developed a program called the Perfect Sleep Protocol which will show you exactly how to do that, with step-by-step instructions to cure your insomnia and enjoy perfect sleep for life — without drugs.